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Transforming teacher education as a strategy for achieving gender equity and equality: lessons from research

Author: 
Dr. Florence Nyamu, Dr. Leah Wanjama, Rose Irungu and Fred Kariuki
Subject Area: 
Social Sciences and Humanities
Abstract: 

Teachersplay an incredibly important rolenot only in imparting knowledge, but also in shaping students’ lives. Recent discourse on education considers gender equity and equality as crucial milestones for sustainable development. A gender equal society is one in which boys and girls, women and men have equal opportunities to realize expected educational and other forms of learning outcomes. There is evidence that for boys and girls to realize the same learning outcomes, it is important to consider different gender needs and address them appropriately. This can only happen if the teachers have the requisite knowledge, skills and attitudes.The purpose of this paper is to review literature on teacher education processes, teacher practices in the classroom, transforming and engendering teacher education. It is expected that the literature will provide lessons on ways in which teacher education and teaching practices may be transformed to become a strategy for the achievement of gender equity and equality for sustainable development. It has been observed that in most cases teachers treat boys and girls “equally” in classrooms (a common saying from teachers, here we do not discriminate, we treat boys and girls equally) and yet the needs, priorities, concerns and interactions of boys and girls are different. To achieve gender equity and equality requires transforming both pre-service and in-service teacher education to make teachers more gender-aware and responsive. Teachers also need to undertake continuous learning and self-evaluation, embrace gender-responsive methodology/pedagogy, create friendly, conducive and interactive environments and become empowered as positive role models.

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